Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quote of the Day!


“America, the nation that once put a man on the moon, is now a craven crowd of xenophobes and bigots – hostile toward intellectuals, takes pleasure in deriding academia and pride in its willful ignorance.” – Frank J. Ranelli, Sunday, August 26, 2008


Monday, August 25, 2008

Deities, Dinosaurs, and the Dangers of Religious Dogma

Monday, August 25, 2008

Curriculum of the ‘Accelerated Christian Academy’ in Mosta instructs kids dinosaurs were used to build ancient pyramids in Egypt.

According to at least one Evangelist pastor, Vince Fenech, of the fully licensed, State-approved Creationist institution, believes and teaches children—ages 4 through 18—that dinosaurs helped build the pyramids. Citing a yet, undiscovered Biblical reference in the Book of Job, Fenech violently strains credulity and incredulously asserts to reporter Raphael Vassallo, of the MaltaToday newspaper, that the Earth was “created in 4004 BC”, and the ancient Egyptians harnessed the power of Jurassic-period dinosaurs to erect the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Pastor Vince Fenech is of course, a Creationist and fervent espouser of a bevy of ideas that not only contests his sanity, but also baselessly suspends science in the name of God; chiefly that the Apollo 11 moon landing proves “the universe is still young!”

Whether astonished, flummoxed, or simply searching for a good guffaw worthy of a side stitch, click here to read more about Fenech’s problematic canon and piously perverse views on sex and abortion.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Just who is Chet Edwards?

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Obama Democratic Veepstakes is approaching a frenetic and feverish pitch. Is it Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, or even Hillary Clinton? Surprisingly, and perhaps to the dismay of many progressives, liberals, and democratic voters the answer may be a resounding, “No.”

The name Chet Edwards outside of Texas, the halls of Congress, or the inside of Nancy Pelosi’s rolodex, is a name unfamiliar to most Americans. So, just who is Chet Edwards? Quietly, yet not completely unnoticed by many politicos and pundits, he is widely considered to be one of Obama’s finalists on his list of candidates for the coveted VP slot.

Chet Edwards currently serves the 17th Congressional district of Texas as a moderate democrat. He is a prolific legislator, with little national exposure, yet has distinguished himself as a centrist with a rather curious and capricious voting record.

A telegenic man—with a visage analogous to a televangelist—is also fashionable with Speaker Pelosi. On August 3, 2008, she extolled his “extraordinary credentials” and stated “I hope he will be the nominee” to ABC's "This Week".

While Edwards is largely an unknown nationally, he is a productive, if not hectic, lawmaker. In addition, he is the chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee and sits on a bevy of other committees and subcommittees in the House.

Filtering Edwards through a democratic prism may prove to be dificult and even a harder sell to hardline progressives as a running mate for Obama. The website OnTheIssues has amassed an extensive, if not exhaustive list of how Edwards has voted— and where he stands—on more than 24 issues, ranging from abortion to the economy.

A close examination of his enigmatic stance on a wide range of policies reveals Edwards voted in favor of the invasion of the Iraq War, gave the nod to telcom immunity, registered an “aye” for the Bankruptcy Reform bill, which now requires partial debt repayment and even stands with John McCain and George Bush on drilling in AWNR.

Unfortunately, his conservative chops do not end there, but include a record of anathema toward the gay and lesbian community by casting his lot with Republicans on the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 – a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. Among prominent liberal and progressive bloggers, he is considered a “Bush Dog Democrat,” an epithet clearly denouncing him as anything but a “Progressive Democrat.”

Sadly, Chet Edwards has too often curried favors for the political right, racking up a congressional record that paints his voting sheet more red than blue. His overt penchant for gun rights and arms makers, aversion to raising CAFE standards and endorsement of forest thinning projects certainly will be met with strident condemnation from gun control and environmental groups.

Save for a few breadcrumbs meant to throw off “low information” voters from his true political stripes—chiefly his vow to keep social security out of the hands of Wall Street—Chet Edwards is another Repulican-lite masquerading as a Democrat.

The Obama campaign in recent days has confirmed Edwards was contacted—and possibly vetted—but has said little else as to his status or standing with Obama as a potential running mate in 2008. Nevertheless, he appears to be in strong contention, helped along by the behest of Nancy Pelosi, as the Democratic Party’s Vice Presidential candidate to oppose Republican John McCain on November 4.

While Obama’s pick for VP still remains steep in mystery, Edwards’s sudden emergence into the national spotlight as a high probability candidate for Vice President portends another likely losing centrist ticket for the Democrats. As John Kerry firmly demonstrated in 2004, a center-right campaign for the Democratic Party is a certain death knell.

What we do know is that whether any given voter stands for or against Republicans, it is certain when the people are given the choice between a genuine conservative or a fake liberal, America always chooses the authentic contestant, if only for not trying to fool the public – issues, policies and object national needs be damned.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Quote of the Day!

“Politics, people, and policy have far more nuance, vagaries, require a deeper understanding, and a higher level of acumen than a 30-second sound byte, a fallacious bumper sticker slogan, or a propagandist cartoon in order to understand them.” – Frank J. Ranelli, August 15, 2008


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Quote of the Day!

"Denial of man’s own mortality is the soul purpose he clings to religion and an omniscient, esoteric God. Ignorance plays a part, but it is more about temporal denial and acceptance of our own fate and fears." - Frank J. Ranelli, August 6, 2008


Friday, August 01, 2008

John McCain Quietly Draws on Social Security While Calling the Program Publicly a “Disgrace”


A recent revelation that John McCain personally derives full benefits from the long-standing and popular Social Security program stands in stark contrast to his recent remarks in Denver, Colorado.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain, on July 7, 2008, during a town hall meeting in Denver, told the small gathering, “Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed."

The remarks were roundly panned by analysts and Democrats, pointing out that since its inception, Social Security was designed and has always worked effectively in its current format. Whereby current wage earners pay into the system routinely – and in doing so – supply the payroll needed to fund the benefit program for retirees. Democratic Party backer, Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees added, “Social Security has always been pay as you go, with today's workers paying for today's retirees.”

McCain has a vociferous and protracted record of advocating for the privatization of Social Security and cutting benefits for retirees, the disabled, and their dependents, stretching as far back as 1983.

More than 42 million Americans are on Social Security – chiefly, the elderly, widows and widowers, and young children whose parents unexpectedly died – allowing them to live independently and out of poverty.

However, In spite of John McCain’s yearly salary as a U.S. Senator of $169,300, and a reported total income in 2007 of $405,409, public records show that McCain, in fact, personally draws from Social Security. Although McCain and his wife keep separate finances, Cindy McCain, an heiress and direct benefactor of a family beer fortune, maintains an expansive largesse estimated at potentially $100 million.

Incongruently, and in complete conflict with his public views and withering remarks, John McCain received, according to public records, $23,157 in Social Security benefits in 2007 – a welfare benefit that averages nearly $2,000.00 per month.

The advocacy group, Alliance for Retired Americans, has launched a campaign to educate its members and the general voter population to attract attention to McCain’s duplicitous, anti-Social Security views. Bemused and angered by McCain’s comments and double standard stance, Director Edward F. Coyle, in a conference call with “leaders of labor and other progressive groups” stated, “Social Security has kept millions out of poverty, and is one our nation’s greatest success stories.”

Additionally, since Senator McCain has pronounced Social Security an, “absolute disgrace”, while personally and hypocritically drawing out of the fund, the Alliance for Retired Americans has asked that the Arizona Republican “return his Social Security checks.”

Considering the near unanimous condemnation of McCain’s acerbic commentary toward Social Security, while surreptitiously collecting benefits, it is unlikely this will prove to be a success story for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

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